As we sailed down the Danube River from Melk to Vienna onboard Viking Atla on the fifth day of our river cruise, we prepared for our evening arrival into Vienna at around 6:30 pm.
My first view of Vienna was one that looked like it was almost unreal and yet at the same time, a little familiar. Don’t you think it looks almost a little like the Boston skyline? But arriving into Vienna at night onboard Viking Atla meant drinks first and then dinner before exploring the city.
Nothing says welcome to Vienna better than a drink in the lounge before dinner. It’s your choice: Fancy drink or a pint of beer?
Dinner that night started with the brightest, reddest flower arrangement ever. There’s no filter on that picture, by the way. My starter was a delicious roasted butternut squash soup with ricotta ravioli and onion minus the bacon. Karla dined on the braised beef short ribs with a barbecued beef empanada with sautéed mushrooms and spinach. My entree was the gratinated buckwheat crepe with ricotta tomato filling, baby spinach, mushroom confit, and orange supremes. To finish off dinner, I opted for my nightly indulgence of sorbet and tonight’s flavor was mango. The meals are always presented in the most spectacular manner and it’s always a treat to try something so different and unique.
After dinner we decided to walk around and familiarize ourself with Vienna. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of our home for the week, the amazing Viking Atla, while we were docked in Vienna. Nearby I couldn’t miss the distinctive red lips and roses of the A-Rosa river cruise ships.
Soon the sun decided to set, but not before I snapped a few pics of the lovely pink and blue hues over the Danube.
Then in an instant, the sun set and the lights of the city appeared as well as the lights of the many river cruise ships docked all along the water near us. We were docked at Handelskay, Pier 2 and while this area is where all the river cruise ships may port their ships, to get into the city center of Vienna, you’ll definitely need to consider transportation. The city center is about 15 minutes away so maybe consider a taxi or some other form of transportation into the city.
Not knowing this, we walked that night for a while, over and under bridges and walkways and ended up in the area of Mexikoplatz in the city’s second district of Leopoldstadt, which of course, is located near the banks of the Danube River. I learned that the square was named Mexikoplatz in 1956, to honor Mexico’s support of Austria in 1938 when it was the only country to protest the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria by Nazi Germany.
While there were Vienna Metro stations and some stores in Mexikoplatz, at night it wasn’t a place to discover any new bars or restaurants, so we returned to the ship. Tomorrow would be a new day filled with sightseeing and dining in Vienna.
Up next: It’s all about discovering Vienna!
I was a guest of Viking River Cruises for this cruise, but as always — all opinions and photographs are my own.